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Edinburgh City Council Midlothian

Edinburgh and Midlothian Take a Step Closer to Zero Waste

28 October 2010

The City of Edinburgh and Midlothian Councils have both agreed to move ahead in a joint project to secure waste treatment facilities to deal with the food and residual waste they collect in the two authority areas.

A report which was approved at recent Full Council meetings of each authority, recommended that the Project moves ahead to the procurement stage.  A preferred site for the facilities has been purchased by the Councils near Millerhill in Midlothian.  An application for planning permission in principle for this site is due to be submitted before the end of the year.

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, Richard Lochhead said:  "I am pleased to see City of Edinburgh and Midlothian councils grasping the mantle and identifying the possible cost savings through collaborative working. Every part of the public sector must demonstrate maximum value for the public purse and deliver efficient and effective public services - particularly when Westminster is cutting our budget for next year by £1.3 billion.

"I welcome the leadership shown by both councils. Food waste is an unnecessary burden on our environment. Anaerobic digestion plays a vital role in our Zero Waste Plan; turning unavoidable food waste into an energy resource."

Councillor Robert Aldridge, said: "We are committed to delivering our vision of a Zero Waste Edinburgh and Midlothian.  Our approach to treating food and residual waste reflects the policy laid out in the National Zero Waste Plan which encourages a staged introduction of these services by reducing, reusing and recycling waste before treating it.

"We cannot continue putting waste in the ground; we must treat it sustainably, as a valuable resource.  We will be providing detail of how we plan to do this in our new waste strategy which will be considered at the next Environment Committee in November."

Councillor Russell Imrie, Cabinet Member for Strategic Services in Midlothian Council, welcomed the decisions of both Councils: "I am pleased we are now at the point where we can go to the private sector and work with them to find a new way of treating our waste that provides value for money.

"With the prospect of landfill bans and other waste diversion targets looming we are keen to progress this project so that once they are implemented, we are in the best possible position.  There has been significant market interest for the project so far and we are confident this will mean we will benefit from a fully competitive process."

Zero Waste: Edinburgh and Midlothian will shortly enter procurement which will commence with an advertisement being placed in the European Journal.

ENDS

For more information contact Kelly Murphy on kelly.murphy@edinburgh.gov.uk or call 0131 5297856